The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the government agency tasked to coordinate various Mindanao-wide development plans, programs and projects, signed a cooperation agreement on Friday, 29 July 2016, with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) to further strengthen their collaboration in pursuing development programs in Bangsamoro communities.
The memorandum of cooperation signed by MinDA and BDA, an agency created by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to lead relief, rehabilitation and development efforts in conflict areas in Mindanao, will also help enhance the institutional capacities of both agencies especially in planning, project development and monitoring, policy advocacy, and investment promotion. The enhanced cooperation between the two agencies is supported by a technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is also aimed preparing the agencies for public and private investments under the South Central Mindanao growth corridor.
Signing the agreement (in photo) are Secretary Luwalhati Antonino of MinDA and Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, BDA Chairman. Witnessing the signing are Deborah Stokes, Vice-President for ADB’s Administration and Corporate Management, along with MinDA Undersecretary and Executive Director Janet Lopoz; Reyzaldy Tan, MinDA Planning Office Head; and MinDA staffers Ma. Vilma Belches and Hazel Joy Leal. Also witnessing the signing ceremony held at the ADB Philippine country office are BDA Executive Director Mohammad Yacob; BDA Deputy Executive Director Windel Diangcalan; Cristina Santiago, Japan International Cooperation Agency officer; Richard Bolt, director of ADB’s Philippine country office; Suchin Teoh, ADB country specialist; George Bestari, ADB consultant; and Joven Balbosa, ADB principal country specialist.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in Asia. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.